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Mario Marinica backs Flames strikers

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Mario Marinica

Flames coach Mario Marian Marinica has admitted he has a lot of work to do to sharpen his attack as his team is over-relying on striker Gabadinho Mhango.

In the last 11 matches in all competitions, The Flames have scored seven goals, of which five have been scored by Mhango, with Polokwane City striker Khuda Muyaba and Baroka FC forward Richard Mbulu scoring a goal each.

Asked on what he is doing to take off the burden on Mhango, Marinica said he has faith in all the strikers in the team and believes the problem would be addressed soon.

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“This is one of the reasons, we have played with three strikers. It was also not to rely on Gaba only and the chances fall to other strikers too. We have used Gaba, Stain Davie, Khuda, Yamikani Chester and Chiukepo Msowoya,” Marinica said.

“Khuda, Chester and Stain had their chances to score. We hope next time they will do,” he added.

Gabadinho, who has signed a three-year deal with Amazulu, scored three goals during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals before netting a brace in the 2-1 victory over Ethiopia last week.

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Muyaba last scored in a 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast during the World Cup qualifiers in October last year while Mbulu, who was not part of the matches against Guinea and Ethiopia, last scored in September last year.

However, Mhango and Muyaba also scored in a practice match when The Flames beat Comoros Islands in Saudi Arabia last December.

Sports analyst Peterkins Kayira questioned Marinica’s tactics.

“Nowhere in the world does the coach rely on a single player to get goals. If the coach does that, then his coaching skills should be questioned. What it tells me is that Gabadinho’s scoring skills do not come because of the coaching but purely personal effort,” Kayira said.

Interestingly, The Flames have failed to score more than two goals in a single match in over 20 matches.

The last time The Flames scored three goals was when they beat Seychelles 3-0 during the 2019 Cosafa Cup in South Africa.

During the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, although. They qualified for the finals, the Flames only managed four goals in the qualifiers.

The Flames are second in Group D with three points, just behind leaders Ethiopia on goal-difference. Guinea and Egypt and third and fourth, respectively, with the same number of points.

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